18 Tips to Sleep Better Sober

a person in bed restlessly holds their head as they think of tips to sleep better sober

One of the most frequently cited issues for people in early recovery is insomnia and poor sleep. This is a serious problem because, if not corrected, it could even jeopardize their sobriety. Researching tips to help you sleep better sober can help you maintain your recovery and feel better in general.

If you are worried that your recovery is in jeopardy, Northpoint Washington can help. Our addiction programs can help you get your life back on track and provide you with the tools you need to maintain your sobriety long-term. Call 888.450.2153 to get started.

How Common Is Insomnia in Recovery?

The rates of insomnia or poor sleep quality among people in recovery from an addictive disorder are much higher than the rest of the population:

  • Among patients with insomnia, 55% report that they “frequently” drink alcohol to help them sleep
  • Only 28% reported no insomnia
  • Within five months after completing substance abuse treatment, 60% of those patients who suffered from insomnia relapsed
  • For patients without insomnia, the relapse rate during that same timeframe drops to 30%
  • Two-thirds of people with an AUD have insomnia to some degree
  • The rate of insomnia in the general population is no more than 30%

The problem is much greater for people who are new to recovery and may still be experiencing lingering withdrawal symptoms—after just one week of abstinence, 91% of people with AUD in residential treatment meet the diagnostic criteria for a sleep disturbance.

Insomnia Can Cause a Relapse

Unfortunately, sleeping pills and other quick fixes often don’t work.

Far more than the rest of the general population, people with substance use disorders must be extra careful with any medications they take to help them sleep. They especially need to stay away from risky self-medicating. If you self-medicate with sleep medication, consider the substance abuse treatment program at Northpoint Washington.

How to Sleep Better Sober: Avoid Unnecessary Medications

The majority of prescription sleep medications are extremely risky for people in recovery because those medications also carry a high potential for addiction:

  • A person prescribed benzodiazepines can develop a dependency in as little as two weeks.
  • Withdrawal from benzodiazepine dependency has the potential to be fatal.
  • Non-benzodiazepine sleep medications such as Lunesta or Ambien can cause a person’s risk of clinical depression to double.
  • Up to 50% of people with AUD exhibit symptoms of a major depressive disorder within their lifetime.
  • Prescription sleep medications may be linked to shorter lifespans.

Even over-by-counters are generally ineffective for long-term insomnia lasting longer than a month. Most also contain antihistamines, which can lead to prolonged drowsiness that may last into the following day. A physician may be able to work with you to find a medication that can help—Trazodone has proven effective in helping some newly sober people sleep better.

18 Tips to Sleep Better Sober

These tips to help insomnia when you’re sober can help you feel like a new person:

  1. Exercise regularly – Just 20 minutes of daily activity has been proven to help people sleep better sober.
  2. Turn off your electronics at least one hour before bed.
  3. Do a relaxing activity before bed, such as reading or listening to calming music.
  4. Keep your bedroom dark and cool – 60-67 degrees is generally ideal for most people.
  5. Practice a relaxation technique like deep breathing or meditation.
  6. Keep a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  7. Avoid caffeine and nicotine in the evenings.
  8. Try aromatherapy with soothing scents such as lavender or chamomile.
  9. Use a comfortable mattress and pillows that support your body well.
  10. Create a peaceful and clutter-free sleep environment.
  11. Avoid heavy or spicy meals close to bedtime.
  12. Take a warm bath or shower before bed to relax your muscles.
  13. Use white noise or a sound machine if you live in a noisy area.
  14. Ask your doctor about trying natural supplements such as melatonin or valerian root.
  15. Use blackout curtains or an eye mask if you are sensitive to light.
  16. Keep a journal next to your bed to write down any racing thoughts or worries.
  17. Invest in a comfortable and breathable set of pajamas.
  18. Seek professional help if insomnia persists, as it can be a symptom of other underlying issues such as anxiety or depression.

Sleep is vital for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Maintaining a healthy sleep routine is crucial for anyone in recovery to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety.

Learn How to Sleep Better Sober By Calling Northpoint Washington and Getting Help

If you are struggling with insomnia during your recovery journey, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Northpoint Washington offers personalized addiction treatment programs that can address underlying issues such as insomnia and help you achieve long-lasting sobriety. Our team of professionals is here to support you every step of the way. So don’t wait any longer; call 888.450.2153 or contact us online now to get started.

Learn more by checking out this infographic:

18 tips to sleep better sober